04/15 Padres Preview: Game 14 vs. Rockies

USA TODAY Sports

As MLB honors Jackie Robinson today, our Padres go for their third straight win of the season and fifth straight against the Rockies at home.

A comeback win against the Rockies last night allowed our Padres to move up to third place in the NL West. Now it's time to expand the lead over Colorado in the standings and inch closer to that .500 record mark.

In the second game of the four-game series, Robbie Erlin will make his second start of the season. Erlin made his season debut out of the bullpen, pitching a scoreless 2/3 of an inning on April 2nd. One week later he made his first start in the tail end of the doubleheader in Cleveland. He allowed one run on four hits in six innings of the 2-1 victory over the Indians, while also striking out six batters and issuing no walks. The lefty, who went 3-3 with a 4.12 ERA in 11 games (9 starts) last season, will be facing the Rockies for the first time in his career tonight.

And he probably couldn't ask for a better time to make his first career start against the Colorado team. The Rockies are riding a four-game Petco Park losing streak after blowing a 4-0 lead in last night's series opener. Despite leading the National League in both batting average (.296) and runs scored (74) this season, they still find themselves in fourth place in the division. Unlike our Padres, who are constantly suffering from poor offensive showings to support their pitching staff (especially the starters), Rockies' pitchers have been unable to keep opponents at bay to back up their offense's run-scoring capabilities. Colorado's pitching staff not only has the second worst ERA in the division, but the second worst ERA in the whole National League, with 74 combined runs allowed. The Padres, by comparison, have only allowed 46 runs (fewest in the division, 5th fewest in the NL). However they have also scored the fewest runs (38) in the NL - second fewest in the majors.

Juan Nicasio hopes to take advantage of the Padres' perpetual offensive struggles, as well as build on his past success against the team. Nicasio is 2-0 with a 2.87 ERA in five career starts against San Diego. He faced them twice in 2013, allowing two runs on seven hits and striking out seven in each outing, but didn't get the decision either time. The right-hander was solid in his season debut on April 4th, giving up just one run on four hits in seven innings against the Diamondbacks. But he ran into trouble last Wednesday, yielding four runs on eight hits through five frames.

Our Friars were able to put together some runs in the late innings last night, but hopefully they can get things started earlier tonight and get Erlin the win. First pitch in game 2 is at 7:10 PDT, so join us as we cheer on our team to a series-split-clinching victory on Jackie Robinson Day.

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